The quality of girls’ hockey in the area was reflected in the all-state voting, with seven girls from the St. Croix Valley Fusion, the Western Wisconsin Stars and the Hudson programs receiving Wisconsin hockey All-State honors.
The Fusion had two players named to the All-State first team. They were seniors Amber DeLong and Lilly Accola.
Western Wisconsin Stars senior Bailey Williams and Hudson senior Rose Giblin were both second team All-State selections.
Fusion seniors Abbie DeLong and Sydney Seeley and Western Wisconsin Stars junior Ellie Brice were honorable mention All-State selections.
St. Croix Valley Fusion
With four girls named, the Fusion were one of the best represented programs on the all-state team. Three Fusion players were also finalists for state honors, with Amber DeLong a finalist for Offensive Player of the Year, Accola a finalist for Defensive Player of the Year and Seeley a finalist for Goaltender of the Year.
Fusion coach Matt Cranston was also named District 1 Coach of the Year.
The DeLong twin sisters were the Fusion’s leading scorers this season, Amber finishing with 41 points and Abbie with 29 points. Cranston put them on different lines to make the team’s forward lines more balanced. Cranston said they gave opponents problems all season.
“Their speed and quickness is super noticeable. They’re so fit, they don’t tire easily,” Cranston said.
Both the DeLongs have amassed incredible career numbers. Amber finished with 106 career points on 63 goals and 43 assists. Abbie finished with 89 career points on 48 goals and 41 assists.
Accola is one of the premier defenders around. And with 28 career goals, she showed she can get things done at both ends of the rink. She also had 27 career assists.
Cranston said the Fusion ranked among the best teams in the state for fewest goals allowed and he said Accola and Seeley were main reasons for that.
“Lilly has a great shot. She’s tall, really strong and really smart,” Cranston said.
Seeley ranked among the top three goaltenders in the state in most statistical categories. In her career, she’s earned 42 wins in net for the Fusion, including 15 shutouts. She stopped 93 percent of the shots she faced during her career, allowing 1.66 goals per game.
All four girls were also named to the 2020 All-Big Rivers Conference Team. Seeley, Accola and Amber DeLong were named to the All-BRC first team and Abbie DeLong was picked for the second team. Seeley was named as the Big Rivers Conference Player of the Year.
Western Wisconsin Stars
Williams and Brice were the leaders for the Stars at both ends of the rink this season.
Williams is a powerhouse at defense, with major skating acceleration and a willingness to play a physical style. He also is a premier offensive defender, leading state defensemen with nine goals.
“She has one heckuva shot,” said Stars coach Bob Huerta. “She was asked to play a lot of minutes in a lot of games.”
Huerta said Williams is headed to Marian College next year. That’s significant, because she’ll get to be a teammate of her older sister, Jade, who graduated last year.
Williams was also a finalist for the state Defensive Player of the Year honor.
Brice was the Stars’ leading scorer for the second straight season. She finished with 25 goals and 15 assists for 40 points.
“She’s really molded herself into a complete player,” Coach Huerta said, saying Brice puts great effort into forechecking and backchecking. “She’s got great hands and her shot has such velocity. She’s the total package.”
Brice and Williams were also among the four Stars who were named to the All-Independent team, done for teams that aren’t affiliated with any conference. Brice was named as a first team forward. Sophomore Erin Huerta was a second team forward. Williams and senior goaltender Caitlin Erickson were honorable mention selections.
Giblin and her defensive partner, Morgan Miller, were the defensive anchors for the Raider team that made a charge to the WIAA State Championships. Hudson coach Matt Szypura said Giblin was incredibly durable, where she could handle a shift of two-to-three minutes if needed.
“She’s a tremendous leader, a great passer and she’s patient with the puck,” Szypura said.
Szypura said Giblin is a smooth skater and an excellent student. She’s a three-sport athlete, also competing in tennis and track.
Giblin finished the season with one goal and five assists. She was an honorable mention All-Big Rivers Conference selection.